State senate says voters weren't very smart

  Were Montana voters confused last year when they passed an initiative halting any expanded or new cyanide leach gold mines? Yes, say some state legislators, and not only confused, but wrong.


"Just because the people said that is what they wanted, that does not make it right," said State Sen. Lorents Grosfield of Big Timber. Sen. Thomas Keating of Billings added, "The people were misinformed through emotional ads."


Legislative ire against the successful push to curb mining took shape through two bills that recently passed the state Senate. One bill would require a second vote on the initiative in 2000; the other would give counties the option of approving a local ordinance to allow cyanide heap-leach mining.


Rancher Mark Gerlach, who lives near a proposed gold mine along the Blackfoot River, said he opposes any plans to overturn Initiative 137, which Montana voters easily passed, 52 percent-48 percent. At a legislative hearing in Helena, he said, "When we voted for I-137, we also voted for you, our representatives. Are you suggesting that we were just selectively stupid, or stupid across the board?"


Jim Jensen, who coordinated the I-137 campaign, said voters knew what they were doing last year. "Regardless of what these legislators say, I-137 was a clearly stated attempt to phase out what is demonstrably a failed and dangerous technology." Jensen said the campaign cited 22 documented cyanide leaks at the Zortman Landusky mine in northern Montana, as well as a cyanide spill at the Golden Sunlight Mine, which polluted groundwater and cost the owners $66,000 in state fines. The bill next moves to the State House.


* Alan S. Kesselheim


NewTowncarShare News Classifieds
  • in Southwest Colorado. $60K plus costs.
  • with six+ years of experience, broad knowledge of home and facilities maintenance. 207-805-4157, https://spark.adobe.com/page/8R7Ag/
  • Seeking full-time experienced farmer on 52-acre organic farm Union, OR. [email protected]
  • Western Resource Advocates (WRA) is seeking a Government Affairs Manager that is passionate about Western communities and the protection of the natural environment to support...
  • Metal roofing & siding, thru-fastened & seam profiles. Stronger, more attractive and longer lasting than any other panel on the market. 970-275-4070.
  • The Central Colorado Conservancy, a nationally accredited and state certified land trust, is seeking an innovative and dynamic Executive Director to guide the Conservancy into...
  • National conservation organization seeks a regular, full-time, Lake Tahoe West Senior Project Lead. Position is responsible for working with the National Forest Foundation (NFF) to...
  • Forever Our Rivers Foundation seeks a driven and creative individual to lead this national movement for river health. Deadline 6/14/19.
  • We are looking for an experienced campaigner to lead our work challenging the oil and fracked gas industry, specifically focused on fighting fossil fuel expansion...
  • 7/12-7/14/19 in Taos, NM. With over 21 workshops and keynote speaker, poet Arthur Sze.
  • Badlands Conservation Alliance is seeking an Executive Director. For job description visit https://www.badlandsconservationalliance.org/hiring.
  • Everland Mountain Retreat includes 318 mountaintop acres with a 3,200 square foot lodge and two smaller homes. Endless vistas of the Appalachian mountains, open skies,...
  • Spectacular views of snowcapped Sierras. 15 miles from Kings Canyon/Sequoia Parks. 47 acres with 2 homes/75' pool/gym/patios/gardens. 1670 sq.ft. main home has 3 bdrm/1 bath....
  • Beautiful off-the-grid passive solar near the CDT. 9.4 acres, north of Silver City. Sam, 575.388.1921
  • at RCAC. See the full description at https://bit.ly/2WJ3HvY Apply at [email protected]
  • Newly refurbished and tuned. Older model, great condition. Gasoline engine. Chains on tires. Heavy duty for mountain snow. Call cellphone and leave message or email.
  • Camping, hiking, backpacking, R2R2R, Tarahumara Easter, Mushroom Festival, www.coppercanyontrails.org.
  • Clean off, cool off & drink. Multiple spray patterns. Better than you imagine. Try it.
  • Actively introduce students to Experiential Education, Outdoor Recreation, and Sustainability while engaging and challenging them to learn and participate in these diverse opportunities. Room, board,...
  • 1400 sf of habitable space in a custom-designed eco-home created and completed by a published L.A. architect in 1997-99. Nestled within its own 80-acre mountain...